Why the Bernese Oberland instead of the Baltic Sea

It was probably the same for most last summer. Flight canceled – what now? Instead, we decided to explore Switzerland. To be more precise, to the Bernese Oberland.

Flug gecancelt – what now

Last June, my colleague’s and my holiday plans were thrown out of whack – due to COVID-19, of course. Our flight to the Baltic Sea was canceled. So we had to find an alternative in Switzerland. Planning was clearly my job, since I work at the Swiss Youth Hostels. The weather is supposed to be quite nice, warm and sunny – perfect for hiking and swimming. Both are possible in the Bernese Oberland!

Ice cream on Lake Brienz

Off we went! Our first stop: Brienz. After checking in at the hostel, we decided to take a walk along the lake. Brienz is incredibly charming with its many quaint wooden chalets. The promenade right on the lake invites you to linger and enjoy some ice cream.

Chalet in Brienz

Chalet in the village of Brienz ©Katrin

Hike with a wet ending

For the next day, we planned a hike. In itself, the Brienzer Rothorn is close for an excursion. Since we had already planned another difficult hike for the next few days, we opted for the panoramic trail. The highlight of the hike is definitely crossing the Unterweidligraben suspension bridge to Interlaken. Ready to go thanks to our simple but good breakfast, we started our hike from the hostel. By the way, we still rave about the great bread today.

After a long ascent, we enjoyed the most gorgeous view over the turquoise lake. Unfortunately, the sky was getting cloudier with every step – so much for the beautiful weather. After 1.5 hours we were soaking wet and returned to Brienz by train. Lunch at Interlaken Youth Hostel was literally rained off. Instead of lunch, we took a hot shower and afterwards we enjoyed the afternoon. We finally decided to go to Interlaken, as neither of us was a fan of the menu of the day in Brienz. Without further ado, we opted for the à la carte restaurant 3a, which has something for everyone.

Thaicurry und Pasta

Dinner at Restaurant 3a in Interlaken ©Katrin

Prosecco in the hot tub

The next day we checked out and left for Lake Thun. From Därligen, we were recommended a hike towards Morgenberghorn. But the horn wasn’t our goal. We were looking to aim high elsewhere. So, we took on the 90-minute sweat-inducing hike. Our destination: a swing with a breathtaking view.

The way back down was much easier for us. With the plan in mind to stop at Leissigen Youth Hostel for a dip in the lake, time flew by. This was actually a great idea – hiking boots off and straight into the cool water! After taking the plunge, we continued to Grindelwald. There we could look forward to a barbecue followed by prosecco in the hot tub. We booked this additional service on the spur of the moment. Luck was on our side and it was still available. Relaxing in the garden of the youth hostel with a view of the north face of the Eiger is quite the experience!

Woman on swing over lake Brienz

Swing above Därlingen ©Katrin

Proseccogläser vor Berner Bergkette

Prosecco in the hot tube at Grindelwald Youth Hostel ©Katrin

Happy End

The next day we took the gondola from Grindelwald up to the First for a short round to Bachalpsee. The ride on the gondola took about 25 minutes and costs CHF 65 per adult round trip.

Wanderer am Bachalpsee

Bachalpssee in the Bernese Oberland

Bachalpsee is one of the most popular destinations in the region. For the hike there and back to the gondola station you have to plan about 2 hours. This leaves plenty of time for a few photo stops, which are a must in this idyllic landscape. There are lots of opportunities to take longer tours in peace, too. For us, however, this was just the right option. The trail is very wide and well developed, making it suitable for families with strollers. The view of the jagged peaks of Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and Finsteraarhorn on the opposite side of the valley is also second to none.

The next day, after breakfast, we were already on our way back to Zurich – totally happy about these fantastic impressions and not at all melancholy about the cancelled trip to the Baltic Sea.

Übrigens noch mehr Ausflugstipps rund ums Wasser und wie du die schönsten Gewässer der Schweiz mit dem Velo entdecken kannst findest du im Artikel Tausche Hamsterrad gegen Zweirad: Ab ans Wasser.

Action & adventure Friends On the water

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